Faculty Publications


Political Roles of Iranian Village Women

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Middle East Research and Information Project, Inc. (MERIP)


Masses of Iranian women, many of them "traditional," relatively uneducated and from the lower classes, were politically quite active in the Iranian Revolution. Many observers assume this to be without precedent. There is, however, a tradition of political participation and struggle in community politics by women, as the case of the village of Aliabad illustrates. Women's activities, roles and characteristics in local politics were similar to those they exhibited in the Iranian Revolution. These village women were not radically departing from their usual behavior by supporting the revolution and joining marches in the nearby city of Shiraz. Nor did their participation in the revolution modify their roles or perceived political passivity in subsequent community struggles.